Monday, 11 January 2010

Living in the (Drastic) Plastic Age................

I am on the horns of a dilemma. My carefully considered plans and projects for 2010 may be thrown into complete disarray and it is the fault of Model Zone, or rather the fault of their sale. They are selling at less than half price various boxes of plastic figures by Revell/ESCI/Italeri. They are also in matched pairs and in four main period ‘match ups’. There are Anglo Saxons and Normans, 8th Army and DAK, Cowboys and Indians and US and NVA. These are usually £5.99 and they are being churned out for £2.99 a box. Seeing these at this price got me thinking about I could possibly do with them – or was it just a case of justifying potentially buying them as they were so cheap? Certainly SWMBO would have little argument on the grounds of cost as she is a veteran bargain hunter and would appreciate my purchasing acumen (Yeah right!). The only downside I can see is that I would then need to acquire extra ‘kit’ – especially for the WW2 match up as you can’t fight in the desert without tanks and artillery etc. Given the average cost of a kit is around the £6 mark and you would be looking at around a dozen for each side (say 4 tanks, some transport, jeeps, ACs and guns and tractors and it soon mounts up. That little lot on its own would weigh in at around the £100+ very easily! The Wild West option is a non starter as I have little interest in that period and if I was gaming it would prefer to use 54mm. The Dark Age stuff is intriguing if only because of its potential for a cheap fantasy set up as well as its historical use – there are loads of Ancient/Dark Age/Medieval figures available that could be added into the mix with these. Finally that leaves the Vietnam era. This would need minimal extra kit – I reckon perhaps a couple of Airfix M113 ACAVs and the FSV variant at the most; perhaps with a chopper thrown in for good measure, and a couple of the Airfix Jungle Outpost building sets. I suspect a bag of lichen would be useful as well! So from a purely financial perspective the Dark Ages would be cheapest (DBA or HOTTs double or triple sized armies would be no problem) followed by Vietnam and then the Western Desert. Of course this fails to take into account my preferences which would probably be the WW2 option first followed by Vietnam and the Dark Ages bringing up the rear.

I have mentioned previously on the blog that I quite fancied the idea of a 20mm plastic project if only because I like working with the material and it would give me a chance for some kit bashing as well which I have missed. The problem is the fact that I have acquired the Balkan Wars stuff in 15mm and metal and they need to have priority in my efforts. As far as painting the figures are concerned that is a no brainer – block colours, old school style, followed up with Army Painter. Bish-bosh job done and thank you very much!

I suppose this serves to highlight the perennial problem of the war gamer – the huge choice we now have in our hobby and how it can cause all manner of distractions to the weak willed!
As ever, much to ponder methinks!!


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hmm my sympathies .. MODEL SALE .. buy two for one :) But do you like making WW2 plastic kits? If YES, buy what you like, otherwise HALT!

Thinking again those half price figures would be OK for Skirmish dozen a side (Hell by Daylight and the likes are excellent rules) but larger battle mean that you never have enough WW2 20mm kit and it is costly when the formations stack up

I've only been hoarding twenty years ;)

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie, I do enjoy making kits but the sheer number required - even at a modest level is pretty high. I will need to think long and hard about this one. I have since dicovered that the Norman mentioned only have 2 mounted figures in the box! That kills the DBA/HOTTs idea methinks!

Strangely enough 'Nam looks an attractive proposition.........;-)

Paul O'G said...

A prennial problem indeed. Vietnam i good compromise - not too many figs required and easily expandable in the future.

The idea of Ancient/Dark Age for some Arthurian and Feudal fun is also something would be delighted toaprtake in.

David Crook said...

'Nam it is then - the figures have been acquired, SWMBO is happy and yours truly has a cunning plan.........MWAHAHAHAAAA!!!!